The way that people think about punishing their children changes all the time. The more we learn about child psychology and the more we grow as individual parents, the more we learn about how to be a supportive parent.
Even with this being the case, people are always going to have very different ideas about what is OK and what isn't.
This Mom Posted Something On Facebook That Was Pretty Controversial
She wrote that she saw a mom punishing her kids in a store by making them do pushups in the bathroom.
Molly Wooden, who made the post, fully supports the discipline she saw this mom give her kids and congratulates her on a job well done.
She Also Posted A Picture Of The Incident
The picture is of her kid on the floor doing pushups as she watches. It's an interesting sight to see.
Now, when Molly Wooden posted the picture, she didn't expect that it was going to rack up more than 14,000 comments and 72,000 shares. It also sparked a lot of conversation.
People Were Supportive Of Her
There are people in the comments who were showing their support with this mom saying that it will help her kids grow up into good men.
There were even people in the comments saying that anyone who had a problem with it doesn't have kids, and if they did, they would see it differently.
Someone Made A Comparison With Chores
One person pointed out that the bathroom pushups weren't that much different than a kid having to do extra chores.
Lots of people also talked about how it works for sports teams, and a lot of parents have adopted those methods.
Of Course, Not Everyone Thought It Was Wise
As much as there were people supporting this woman, there were also people who thought that it crossed a line.
If kids don't like shopping, then why take them with you if you know they're going to be bad? Some people even said that it was this kind of behavior that alienated them from their own parents. In the end, people remained pretty divided.
This Has Many Of Us Wondering Is There A Right Way To Discipline Our Kids?
When it comes to disciplining children, the goal is not to punish them but to teach them something that will help them grow into a well-functioning adult.
There are so many changes as children age, so it would make sense that the most productive ways to discipline them change as well.
Recently, A Study Was Published Outling Some Basic Principles To Use While Discipling Children
The study started by pointing out that disciple, no matter the age of a child, should have some things in common:
-It should be given by an adult that has a nurturing bond with the child
-It should be consistent and done as soon as possible after the punishable incident
-It should be thought to be fair by the child
-It should be appropriate for the child's age and mental/emotional development
Lastly and most importantly, it should lead to self-enhancement, specifically the child learning how to self-discipline.
In The Study, They Look At Six Age Groups
The study looked at children in six different age groups. They studied infants (birth to twelve months), early toddlers (one to two years old), late toddlers (two years to three years old), preschoolers, and kindergarten aged children (three years to five years old), school-aged children (six to 12 years old), and adolescents (13 to 18 years old).
The study offers varying techniques for successful discipline and communicating with children from birth until they're about 18 years old.
You shouldn't discipline an infant. They won't respond well, if at all, to things like time-outs and consequences for their actions. However, there are certain things that we can do to encourage an infant to develop good habits.
Keeping a regular schedule for feeding, sleeping, and play will help create a sense of predictability for the infant, which will help them feel safe. It's important not to overstimulate an infant and to allow them to develop some tolerance for frustration which will help them learn how to self-soothe.
Children between the ages of one and two need to have time to explore the physical world and how they relate to it, and how they relate to other people in their space.
That means it's essential to let them have a bit of freedom, but make sure you watch and communicate with them.
What Not To Do:
Early toddlers are not verbal enough and not yet mature enough to respond well to any kind of verbal prohibitions, so yelling or going on long tangents about them misbehaving isn't going to work.
Early toddlers are also very susceptible to abandonment feelings, so putting them on a time out away from you will only upset them for new reasons and not be productive or constructive.
What To Do:
More often than not, a simple and firm 'No' will do the trick when trying to get a toddler to stop doing something. Take the object away from the child or remove them from the situation and divert their attention to another activity. This will usually work without too much fuss.
The parent should make sure that they stay with the child to watch that they don't repeat the bad behavior, and so the child doesn't think their parent is withholding love as a form of punishment.
Many of us have heard this time referred to as the "terrible twos." That's because these years can feel incredibly frustrating for a toddler. They realize their limitations in the world, and this will often lead to temporary outbursts or temper tantrums.
This does not necessarily mean that the child is angry or willfully disobeying you or challenging you. It just means they're processing a lot of things and finding it overwhelming.
What Not To Do:
It's important not to be overly reactive to a toddler's temper tantrums because it's likely to make the situation worse. This can be especially difficult when a child decides to have a meltdown in a public place where it is likely they are already overstimulated.
At this age, they're still not able to fully process complicated verbal instructions. The toddler won't be able to control their behavior based on verbal commands or direction alone.
What To Do:
The key to proper discipline at this age is empathy. Understanding where these outbursts come from will go a long way to helping your child cope with them. Monitoring your child and setting routines and limits will help you learn your child's reaction patterns so that you can avoid them when possible.
When your child has calmed down, a short and straightforward conversation about what just happened will help the child learn. If they're having a meltdown in public, it's best to remove them from the situation as calmly as possible.
Preschool And Kindergarten Aged Children
By the ages of three to five, most children can understand reality, limitations and know what is considered good behavior. They are also more self-reliant. However, their judgment isn't always proper as they haven't internalized all your rules and remain very gullible.
They've also reached a stage in their lives where they take on the actions and behaviors of people around them, making it all the more confusing when they're told they're doing something wrong.
What Not To Do:
Long lectures and raising your voice are counterproductive and won't help the situation, but neither will completely dismissing the issue. There is a healthy balance that will help a child learn. Children this age should not be left entirely alone as they still need supervision.
If they don't have consistent behavior models in their life, your child will be more likely to misbehave and act out.
What To Do:
At this age, using time-outs would be a constructive way to discipline your child, as long as they understand why they are on a time-out. Calmly explain to them what the issue is and leave them time to process the problem independently.
Then, consider using logical consequences immediately after the time out or after the issue occurred. For example, if the child draws on the wall, put them on a time-out while you get cleaning supplies and then have them help you clean it up.
School-aged children have reached the age where they're starting to act independently. They're starting to make friends, dress themselves, and even recognize authority outside their parents. But, this increasing independence is likely to lead to conflicts.
They may want to make more decisions for themselves than are appropriate. School-aged children still don't have fully developed reasoning skills and have difficulty putting judgment into practice. They are willing to learn, though, so all it takes is firm patience.
What Not To Do:
There are certain things to avoid doing while disciplining school-aged children. If you punish them in a way that you know is unrealistic, it will cause more long-term frustration. Ensure you never embarrass your child for misbehaving in front of other people.
Also, make sure that you don't discuss the issue while trying to discipline your child. It will take away your authority in the situation.
What To Do:
When disciplining your school-aged child, it's best to approach it with a nonjudgemental tone and have a reasonable discussion about the issue after the punishment. You can remove privileges as long as they are realistic, like no TV for the evening or no dessert.
Also, allow for the logical consequences of their actions to be felt. For example, if they break something, then that means that they don't have it anymore and refrain from replacing it.
The ages of 13 to 18 are notorious for being difficult. Your children are growing into young adults, and they're forming their own opinions about the world, which they may feel defy their parent's teachings and values.
It's normal for adolescent children to distance themselves from their parents and rely more on a close group of friends. They're also at an age where they tend to act impulsively and don't always consider long-term consequences.
What Not To Do:
Don't make the adolescent feel dumb or depreciated, especially when their friends are around or in front of strangers. You're not going to be able to have their attention for a long time, so avoid long, drawn-out lectures about why you 'told them so.'
It's also important that you don't put it in their heads that terrible things will happen to them if they don't listen to you. Yes, you only want what is best for them, but don't blow things out of proportion.
What To Do:
Set rules for your teenagers that are age-appropriate, and understand that they're growing up. Try your best to be non-confrontational and approachable. Be willing to negotiate about lighter subjects with your teenager. This will allow them to feel independent and part of the decision-making process. This will make them more likely to abide by the agreed-upon terms.
Let them deal with the natural consequences of their actions. For example, if they broke something, make sure they're responsible for paying for it.
In General, It's Important To Make Sure You Have Set Rules
There are some guidelines for setting good rules and sticking to them:
-Make sure that the rules are applied consistently, not just some of the time
-Avoid nagging or making threats and promises that you don't follow through on
-Know how to accept age-appropriate behavior. A toddler accidentally spilling a glass of water is different than a school-aged child doing it to push buttons
-Make the consequences brief but informative and apply them as soon as possible and don't yell or be verbally hurtful
Remember To Allow Your Child To Be Themselves
You want to correct behavior and foster a healthy learning environment for your children when disciplining them, not changing them, or stifling their personalities. Always follow consequences with love and trust, and conversation so that the child knows the issue was their behavior, not them.
Remember to take the time to look after yourself as well. It can be hard being a parent, and it's essential to set a good example for your children.